Monday, January 7, 2013

1890's Outfit with amazing fabric

From the seller:

This is something special from the antique clothing collection that was my mother and grandmother's.

This particular dress, unlike so many others, has a written history to it, and the history impressed me.

My mother would put dresses on display for charity, and attached to this dress was a hand written plaque on cardboard.
"Trusseau dress of Mary Grace McGinnis a "49er" in the California gold rush. He bought several farms in Florence Township (Illinois). His wife's name was Eliza and they had 4 living children, one of whom was Mary Grace who married Seymour Steward of Custer Park (Illinois) Seymour made the "Run of '89" into Oklahoma Territory and became the first probate Judge in Oklahoma. Mary and Seymour were married in the yard of the farm home in 1893..." An American story of the old west and the men who made it. And true.

It goes on to say the dress was donated to my mother from their daughter.
I found a picture of their wedding on the internet in a book "Oklahoma City: Land Run to Statehood" and several mentions of the Judge.

Now onto the dress.
It is a beautiful dark green silk taffeta. On the skirt is a wide panel of oriental inspired reeds on a green and brown striped background. The leaves have a lovely dark maroon accent on them.
It has corset cover sewn onto it with hook and eye closure.
The waist has been mended and reinforced with strong stitches. The panel has been outlined in alternating sequins and beads. Some are missing.
The skirt is lined in brown polished cotton and has a brown velvet hem. About 16" of taffeta need to be retacked to the hem. There are two small mends in the area within the bustle.
The blouse.
There is boning in the collar in the back, so that it partially stands up. It has a wide pointed collar that stretches past the huge huge leg-o-mutton sleeves. The yoke is the same floral patterned material as on the panel and below it is a bow. A lovely piece of embroidered trim below the bow and it is outlined in the beads and sequins, most of them are missing in this area as are they are on the cuffs. The blouse has been mended at the armpits, within the bend of the elbow, and the shoulder seam. A mend in needed in the largest part of the sleeve about 2 inches.

There are many stays, and the lining is need of repair or replacement, but it is relatively still solid.
There is a white tag my mother sewed in the collar with her initials and the woman's name.

Hopefully this dress will find a good home to someone who appreciates the history of it for the woman who wore it and carried it as her trousseau with her from a farm in Illinois to help her husband create law and order in the west...Oklahoma City.
bust underarm seam to underarm seam 32" waist 22" sleeves 25"
camisole" 32"
skirt waist 23" length from waist to hem 43".

I will include the cardboard sign my mother wrote, and give her name to the winning bidder.

From Me:

Look at that skirt fabric! It's also in the neckline of the bodice as well but you really get that cool color combo feel in the skirt. Very neat!

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